Fighting for Quality Education


Throughout his career in public service, Senator Jim Beall has made public education one of his top priorities. He has consistently fought for funding for public schools and worked to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality education. He has also been an advocate for programs that benefit at-risk youth, the disabled and children with mental illnesses. He earned the Legislator of the Year from Special Education Local Plan Area Administrators (SELPA’s). In the State Senate, Jim has fought to bring our schools back from painful budget cuts, restore per-pupil funding, and increase access to preschool.

As one of ten children, all of whom attended California colleges, Beall is a strong proponent of California’s public universities and community colleges. In the State Senate, he has worked to make college more affordable for working families and fund these institutions without fee increases.

In the State Senate, Jim has worked to improve public education by:

  • Working with state and local school officials to obtain over $30 million dollars in California Career Pathways Trust Grant funds for three local school districts to connect employers with schools and train students for future careers.
  • Supporting investments in early childhood education to add over 13,000 new full-day and part-day preschool slots in the 2015 budget, because Jim knows access to quality, affordable child care for working families and their children provides the foundation for future success.
  • Leading the efforts to invest more than $68 billion in California’s K-14 classrooms to help restore per-pupil funding.
  • Working to invest more money in the UC and CSU system to open up 15,000 new enrollment slots so that more California students can attend our public universities.
  • Supporting investment in Community Colleges with a focus on expanding student success programs and strengthening efforts to assist underrepresented students.
  • Fighting for universal Pre-K programs.
  • Co-authoring a bill to waive college exam fees for homeless high school students.
  • Fighting for a state audit to determine whether school districts are providing students the mental health services they are entitled to by law.

Over 30 years in public service, Jim has worked to improve our public schools by:

  • Fighting to protect per pupil spending for California’s schools during the 2011-2012 State Budget battle, preventing cuts to academic programs like math, science and reading.
  • Working to make it easier for school districts to raise local funds through parcel taxes by sponsoring legislation to lower the voting threshold from 67 to 55 percent.
  • Supporting bond measures and parcel taxes throughout his entire career to help schools across our area to obtain local funding to keep core academic programs and services intact for their students.
  • Co-authoring legislation to allow public schools to receive Average Daily Attendance funds for students enrolled in online courses.
  • Introducing the Community College Transfer Act, which streamlined the transfer process, focusing on the importance of community colleges as the bridge to a four-year university.
  • Sponsoring legislation that saves families money on the cost of their children’s education, allowing the purchase of college course credits using the current fee schedule, even as tuition costs increase.
  • Fighting for the passage of AB 656, which created an oil and gas severance tax to fund higher education without increasing tuition and fees.
  • Working to protect California’s university students by supporting controls on UC/CSU administrator salaries, so they cannot be raised in years when students are subject to fee increases.
  • Working on legislation in the Assembly to make a child’s college education tax deductible for California’s working families. With rising fees and less State funding, Jim understands we need to help make college more affordable for California families.
  • Convening the Joint Task Force for Institutional Schools to improve education services for at-risk youth at the County’s Children’s Shelter, Juvenile Hall, and the Ranches.
  • Coauthoring SB 946 to make insurance companies provide much needed services to children with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) instead of abdicating their responsibility by forcing our public schools to address their challenges. SB 946 was signed into law by the Governor and will save California schools hundreds of millions of dollars in special education services.
  • Cofounding and championing the passage of the Children Health Initiative (CHI), making Santa Clara County the first in the nation to offer all children access to health coverage. Analysis of the program revealed that children missing three or more school days in a month dropped in half after they were enrolled in the CHI program.